I Would like you to meet my - Friend - - Parkinson
Parkinson is a freeloader, a liar, and a cheater. He is the worst roommate that you could ever imagine. Well, maybe he’s not the worst. But, he’s pretty bad.
Parkinson is a bully, and he is a horrible practical joker. Like an evil puppeteer he causes my hand and arm to shake, jerk, and make gestures that others may perceive as strange, or even lewd.
He plays his practical jokes at the worst of times. I avoid public restrooms whenever possible. I’d rather piss my pants than be seen standing at a urinal with arms jerking and twitching like a pervert.
He shakes me awake in the middle of the night. He waits until I drift nearly back to sleep, then he shakes me again.
When I do sleep, he whispers in my ear, transforming my dreams into nightmares. In my dreams I’ve died many times.
Parkinson and I are now beginning our second decade together.
I am fifty-three.
There will be no party!
Or, maybe there should be?
Despite all of his faults, Parkinson has taught me some valuable lessons in the moments between his pranks.
He has stolen my sleep, leaving me drained, exhausted, and questioning the value of my own existence.
But, that emptiness is soon filled by empathy for those who have lost more.
He has spoken some true words of wisdom amidst the cruelty of his laughter.
I‘ve learned to welcome his nightmares, and the valuable insight they provide into the workings of my own mind.
Through the humiliation of his jokes, I am learning to be humble. His cruelty will teach me (or remind me) to be kind.
Despite how it sounds, I am not brave or courageous. Many times my reactions to this unwanted roommate have been less than healthy.
My family deserves all of the medals, if there are any to be given.
I’ve often made Parkinson the scapegoat for bad behavior of my own.
Perhaps I’ve judged him too harshly.
I‘ve accused him of stealing my life from me. But, maybe he is just showing me the way to a better one?
Am I a better person than I would have been without him?
What will he show me next?